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Manpower shortage, so housewives on the job

A huge manpower crunch in the retail, banking, IT and insurance sectors have induced companies to hire married women, reports Pallavi Polanki.
Hindustan Times | By Pallavi Polanki, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 27, 2007 12:59 AM IST

A HUGE manpower crunch in the retail, banking, IT and insurance sectors has made homes an emerging campus for recruitment.

Waking up to untapped potential of housewives with past work experience, companies are now hiring married women who have had career breaks because “they are less likely to hop jobs and can work part-time”.

“Women are perfect for the retail industry because they understand customer needs,” said Kripesh Hariharan of People Enterprise, which handles HR for Pantaloon Retail. Pantaloon kicked off a “women only” recruitment drive in Kolkata this week for over 2,000 “flexi-career” positions targeted at housewives wanting to strike a work-home balance.

The Chennai-based Interim Women Manager’s Interface Network (I-WIN), an initiative by HR firm Avtar, has become a big hit. “We have placed over 450 women in organisations such as Standard Chartered, Unilever, Merrill Lynch and Cognizant,” said Avtar CEO Saundarya Rajesh. About 73 per cent of the 4,000 registered with I-WIN are married and include CAs, MBAs, engineers, bankers and programmers.

“I was apprehensive about taking up a full-time job because I have a daughter. Here I work 20 hours a week,” said Kalai Selvi, a senior programmer with IT firm Blue Shift.

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